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Quadriceps Tendon Rupture, Repair and Rehab - Page 113

post #3361 of 7336

I am almost 10 weeks from surgery and I think I overdid last week, which was my first week off the brace. I walked for a rather long distance on Friday without the brace (with hills) and then worked hard at rehab on Saturday with biking (first time) and bent knee leg raises with 2 pounds on my ankle (first time with more than one pound). There was no pain when i did these things but then Sunday and Monday I have been living with ice bags and the feeling of much  greater than normal tightness in the knee and a little swelling (which is going down). I can bend the knee fairly well but it is uncomfortable. I did no exercise yesterday and today. Are these episodes of two steps forward and then a step (or two) backward common? This is the second time this happened to me. Do most of you experience occasional swelling, tightness and pain after a good workout? Is it normal?

 

Gil

post #3362 of 7336

bikerboyz1000 here!

 

I guess im fresh meat..2 weeks post op. stitches come out tomorrow. Im 42 years old, in pretty good shape. im a Police Officer and Im in the Texas national guard. I sustained this injury playing b ball with my 14 year old in the street. i went up for a dunk(i know im to old to do that stuff) and suffered a complete qtr. Ive been through a lot of stuff but ive never felt a pain like that. Its really nice to read the different rehab and recovery strategies.. Im in a hinged brace set on zero. I can stand up on the injured leg with little assistance from crutches and ive been taking steps.. IM really frustrated at myself because myabe i could have stretched a little more or just gone up for regular lay-up. Well time to move on and get this thing fixed.. Im not used to taking things slow so this is going to be tough for me. i have a military school scheduled for Aug 5, 2012 and jugding from all of your posts its 50/50 if ill  make that school.. ill let you know what the ortho says tomorrow after staples are yanked out..

post #3363 of 7336

Old Runner Guy, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful postings on this thread.

 

I believe the reason surgeons and therapists don't get their rehab time lines right for runners is simply because most don't run themselves.  That's why this board is so helpful because those of us with the same injury, similar backgrounds, and strong desires to get back on the roads, run and work out again can help each other. 

 

You are 22 weeks into your recovery and I am at 5 weeks.  It's very helpful and humbling  to know what's ahead of me.  Not being able to do much exercise is driving me crazy but I realize if I screw up the repair that redo surgeries don't work out.  That's why patience is so critical for all of us with quad tendon tears.  I understand we can expect full recovery in closer to a year than six months provided we don't re injure ourselves.  If you do tear the tendon again I am told you are more or less totally screwed so we have no choice but to follow a thoughtful and controlled recovery path.

 

ORG, I am interested  in when you or any other quadritear victims reached certain milestones:

  • When were you out of the leg brace?  Is 8 weeks reasonable or is 10 weeks more common?
  • How long did it take to regain your full range of motion.  Yesterday I was only at 50% on my own and 68% with assistance.  Next session is this Friday (3/30/12).
  • At what point were you able to use the elliptical trainer and stationary bike?  And do so with reasonable resistance?
  • When were you comfortable walking and your natural walking gait return?
  • When were you able to walk up and down steps?
  • How long did your insurance plan cover physical rehab and therapy?

 

Best of luck with your recoveries to all!!!

post #3364 of 7336

I wish you well and do not beat yourself up as to what you might have done. I am exactly seven months from injury. slipping in water and soap at work, falling and total rupture of left QT.  Yes slipping and I was down on my self but realized a lot more important work to be done.. trust me. 

 

I am 55 in good shape and just met with Surgeon yesterday.  The key to rapid recovery is the healing of the rupture and good mental out look.  Everything is secondary to these.  So stay in the brace,  let it heal and stay positive and focused.  You are allowed one self pity weekend, but just one!.  Word to wise, watch your weight. I did not and put on 20 lbs.  Also watch the showers, it is slippery in there and you do not want to re injure.....lol. 

 

I have really recovered well. I have good muscle definition of the left leg.  The doctor held me back from PT and working out till week twelve.  Hey I'm old as he explained and wanted to be sure the rupture healed.  When I began PT came out swinging...

 

I am working out legs and yes they get sore, particularly in the repaired area.  And yes at times swells.  But all this will come later...

 

Your key let the rupture heal.  If this goes correctly sounds like you are in good shape and know how to get in shape, that it will be easy for you to recover.  Re the meeting in August. yeah 50/50 - but I think a great goal. My goal was to ski.  The planned date is the last week in April, Snowbird.  We will see. But a good motivator. 

 

Good luck. And in seven or eight months when you tell others how long it has been since injury and they say, "does not seem that long!"  Tell them "depends what side of the leg you are on...

 

For here on out it is mental. I am sure you will have no problem.  BTW a good sense of humor helps....

 

Cheers.

 

pATT

 

post #3365 of 7336

Patt,

 

Your advice to let the wound heal as the FIRST priority makes perfect sense.  In the long run it doesn't really matter if we start working out again at 4, 6, or 8 weeks or whatever.  If the wound isn't fully healed you run the risk of re injuring yourself and if you do that you're screwed!  So we should all avoid self imposed, arbitrary deadlines for what we will be doing and when.  Our bodies will tell us what we can do and when.

 

Keeping a positive attitude as a priority also makes sense.  The quad tendon rupture is a very serious injury and will take a long time to heal so all we can do is cope with our plight, keep our chins up and get on with life. 

 

Still interested in when other quadritear victims were able to shed the leg brace and start walking more or less normally.

 

Good luck to all!

 

Dan

post #3366 of 7336

Dan:

 

I had a complete tear of the right Quad. I was able to take off the brace at 8 weeks and am walking for the most part without a limp at this time (10 weeks today from surgery). However, all is nowhere near well or normal. The knee is still sore, tight (does that feeling ever go away) and sometimes swells after a rehab session -see prior post. I have 127 ROM but at no time did the PT manually push the bending and advised against it. I experienced that ROM increases rapidly after you reach 90. I did not start "official PT" until 5 1/2 weeks. I have some trouble walking down hills and have to be very careful doing this, especially when there is swelling in the knee. I can go up and down stairs alternating steps but I take this slowly and do hold onto a rail. If there is no rail, I won't alternate down the stairs (I fear falling). I ice the knee constantly and limit (but don't stop) rehab when there is swelling. I use a stim machine at least twice a day and this has helped refire and grow the muscles on the affected leg. I started driving some last week, but still have discomfort sitting with the knee down for any length of time. I hope this helps. From reading the posts, I understand that occasional swelling even months after the surgery is not uncommon.

 

I used to run a lot but had a hip replacement a few years ago and that ended any running for me. i hope that you and ORG and all the other runners can get back on track as soon as possible.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Gil

post #3367 of 7336

Will Run Again: I will try and answer your questions to the best of my old brain recollections:

 

        .....I was out of brace at about 9 weeks with limited ROM

       ......My full ROM of 140 degrees was at about 16-17 weeks

      .......I was able to do stationary biking fully at about 15-16 weeks

      .......Eliptical machine lightly at about 16 weeks and now can go full strength

      ........Now at 22 weeks I can walk for almost two miles but am sore after....still walk with limping gait

      ........As far as insurance mine was the result of an auto accident so my insurance is still covering PT....although I only go once

              every 2 weeks and feel there is not much more they can do for me. My PT guy is a marathon runner...I strongly suggest when

              you start PT find a therapist that is a runner....preferably a marathon runner as they will understand your physical and mental state much clearer.

      ------ I feel now at 22 weeks I am at a sticking point physically....I still get swelling after every workout and my left knee area ( the ruptured side) is about 1/2" or

              slightly more than my good side

     ------ What I was able to do for the first time this week is stride in a trot in the pool.....not actually a run stride but more than I can do on land

     ------ Lastly....I am starting to accept that full stride running may take closer to a year to achieve.....my original goal was 8 months but I am skepital.

                                   Hope this helps::: MAKE IT A GREAT DAY !!!!!     ORG

post #3368 of 7336

Old Runner Guy,

 

Thank you for your feedback.  It is both helpful and a reality check.  I now realize that at 5 1/2 weeks I am a "new-be" to the journey we quadritear victims are on.  I agree with what Patt posted yesterday.  The first priority has to be to heal the injury.  We all have personal goals and runners tend to be OCD about fitness but if you push the envelope and screw up the repair you're toast longer term.

 

BTW, for those in denial about the severity of your injury I found a link that shows how the quadriceps tendon is repaired.  The images are graphic but they drive home just how much damage has been done inside your leg and gives perspective on the healing necessary to get back on your feet much less to go out for a run. Paste the following link in your browser:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh2NXTbMkEA

 

OK, it's off to work I go.

 

Have a great day!

 

Dan

post #3369 of 7336

Run again:

 

I'm 10 wks post op as of 3/30/12; I'm 4 wks into PT.  EVERYbody and EVERYthing I have seen says, it is 12 months until you are back to normal; my PT guy says you'll wake up one day and notice it doesn't hurt at all and you can do whatever you want.  Mine feels pretty good so he said he's more worried about me with re-injury b/c I'll push it since the pain isn't bad.

 

 

  • When were you out of the leg brace?  Is 8 weeks reasonable or is 10 weeks more common?

4 weeks for me

  • How long did it take to regain your full range of motion.  Yesterday I was only at 50% on my own and 68% with assistance.  Next session is this Friday (3/30/12).

Not there yet, yesterday at PT was at 121 but it hurts to get there

  • At what point were you able to use the elliptical trainer and stationary bike?  And do so with reasonable resistance?

Going to the gym today to try to bike...we'll see.

  • When were you comfortable walking and your natural walking gait return?

Most of the way there...still rocking a bit

  • When were you able to walk up and down steps?

7 wks was when i started alternating steps; it still hurts now going down stairs

  • How long did your insurance plan cover physical rehab and therapy?

They are covering it until the Doctor gives the thumbs up to quit

 

good luck

post #3370 of 7336

Quadarsaurus,

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

You are way ahead of me.  Today is 6 weeks post op for me.  I am still in the brace for another two weeks, at least.  I have started rehab and am having difficulty getting 90 degrees ROM.  I am doing the prescribed exercises twice a day.  I have progressed from two crutches to one and am walking in the brace more and leaving the crutch behind.  My goal is to shed the brace at 8 weeks.  I am really blown away by how much muscle atrophy I have experienced - very upsetting. 

 

It does sound like you are pushing the envelope with your activities.  There is a serious risk of doing too much too soon and re-injuring yourself.  There is also a risk of not doing enough.  We're all different but seem to be on a similar path.  I am told though that if you re-injure yourself the prognosis is not good because they will be attaching scar tissue to scar tissue and that doesn't work out so well.  I really think we all have to be patient.

 

Old Runner Guy,

 

How are you doing???  Are you walking and intermittently jogging a few strides yet?

 

Good luck to all!!!

 

Dan

post #3371 of 7336

WILL RUN AGAIN:   No...I am not near running as of yet. Pool striding.....but no land running. The tightness or maybe quad weakness.....hard to describe which is which or if there is a difference.is still there despite all the exercising and bike riding. Just have to keep working.....but feel like I am at a real sticking point. About 23 weeks post surgery.

 

 

post #3372 of 7336

Run again, I had a PT assessment today and I couldn't be happier. My PT person said I am healing as fast as she's seen and has me in the top 10% for progress for my age of 45 yo. She measured me at 122 ROM today...11.5 wks post op (97 to 122 with 5 wks of PT).  I credit getting out of the brace early to prevent muscle loss, hitting the pool, and the PT exercises.  That said I know I am still look at a total of 12 months until normal with no pain but that tees me up for skiing next January...hopefully.

 

At the PT office told me about a guy who broke and diving board last summer and ruptured both quad tendons...I can't even imagine that...I'd rather be shot or something. 

 

Hang in there in keep up with the PT...you'll be glad to lose that brace in a couple of weeks.

 

Keep me updated...

post #3373 of 7336

Quadarsaurus,

 

You really are doing well.  I am 6 1/2 weeks post op and really struggled to get 90 degrees today.  The previous two sessions were 77 and 68 degrees, respectively.  My physical therapist gives me good marks for leg strength but I am obviously lagging with ROM.  She told me many with this injury have ROM but can't lift their legs so given a choice I'm doing okay.

 

BTW, I'm 63 so despite my denial about the issue I'm simply not going to heal as fast as a guy like you who is 20 years younger.

 

I have been diligently doing PT exercises for two weeks and am going to the gym for the first time since my accident tonight to do upper body work. I have gone from being encouraged to discouraged and encouraged again.  I walk with the brace and hope I can shed it when I see the surgeon again April 16.

 

You're right though; a quad tendon rupture is serious stuff and total rehab will take a year.  It is what it is and all we can do is persevere and just keep on trucking......

 

All the best,

 

Dan

post #3374 of 7336

Old Runner Guy,

 

I can't even imagine being at 23 weeks post op.  I haven't reached 7 weeks yet so I really have a long way to go.

 

My immediate goals are simply to shed the brace and walk again.  I am working on ROM and have progressed from 68 degrees to 90 in less than a week.  I have to say though that reaching 90 today REALLY hurt big time.  My physical therapist said regaining ROM takes time and shouldn't be too fast.

 

You sound a bit discouraged about not being able to run but everything I'm hearing is full recovery and doing activities we could do prior to the injury takes a year.  At least you're half way there.  I have another 10-11 months to go.  That seems like a lifetime.  

 

Anyway, hang in there and keep me posted on progress.  We're both runners and the same age so I'm looking to you to blaze the trail for me!  :-)

 

All the best,

 

Dan

post #3375 of 7336

Here is my update;

 

58 yrs old and active. 10 weeks from surgery and I'm finally off the brace.  I had been walking around with the brace unlocked at 0 - 40% for about two weeks against the wishes of my doctor but I think it helped rebuild of my quad muscles a bit rather than let them melt away.  I can walk without a limp if I concentrate on it but constantly aware to stop dead in my tracks if the knee feels like it wants to give out.  Feels wierd as the quad muscles are tight and sometimes I get that clicking of the kneecap others have talked about.  (Hope that goes away - annoying).

My ROM is sort of stuck at 90 but I'm seeing some slow progress past 90.  Too scared to try to alternate walking up/down stairs - doesn't feel strong enough yet. My PT started at 5 1/2 weeks and has all been on my own with instructions from the doctor and one PT visit.  Exercises are three times a day which takes some discipline.  I normally get two sessions in due to work.

 

Next doctor's visit is at 13 weeks post surgery.  I have lots of work to do and have a greatly enhanced appreciation of how slippery ice is with 1" of snow hiding it! 

post #3376 of 7336

I believe conducting your own PT with advice from the surgeon is smart, smart, smart.    Therapists simply don't understand this injury and tend to over-flex under tension.    Pain (except for breaking up scar tissue) really isn't our friend.  

 

Good luck JT.

post #3377 of 7336
I am a newbie to this forum and have read many posts and am both more enlightened and terrified at the same time. I am 9 days out of surgery and no idea the length and difficulty you all describe with this injury.
I had a complete tear of the left quad falling from a ladder. I am a 61 year old thrill seeker that skiis, hikes, bikes, rowes a whitewater raft, and rides a motorcycle. I have rowed the Colorado through the Grand Canyon twice and I hurt myself taking down Christmas lights.
Well, whatever,the damage is done and I have to live with it.
I am in a full leg brace as many of you describe and have my follow up appointment with the doc in 6 more days. I thought I would be losing this thing, but I see it will be my friend for quite a while longer.
post #3378 of 7336

Hi Funko,

 

Bummer about your injury.  Many of us with this injury are active and ended up hurting themselves doing routine activities at home.  In my case I was rushing, jogging down my back porch steps, caught my left heel and went flying.  Landed on left knee totally rupturing the quad tendon.  As you say, the damage is done and we all have to deal with it.

 

Since I'm now seven weeks into this I am no longer the newbe.  This is what you can expect:

 

  • You'll be seeing your surgeon at two weeks.  I assume you have surgical staples.  In my case there were 25.  It looked like a zipper knee.  The incision was 6" or 7" from the bottom of the knee cap up into the quad area.  I was shocked at how weak my leg was as well as how it looked.
  • Your second post op appointment will be at 4 weeks.  Prepare yourself for the muscle atrophy and weakness in the leg.  By then you will be frustrated with the brace but you will be in that brace for at least another month (total 8 weeks post op).  Your follow up appointment will probably be in a month so all you can do is wait.
  • By week five you will probably start initial rehab.  Once again prepare yourself dealing with the muscle atrophy, weakness and insecurity you feel when your leg is first out of the brace for the rehab evaluation and exercises.  The most difficult thing for me is regaining ROM and I really struggled through lots of pain to get 90 degrees last week at six weeks.
  • I used crutches the first five weeks and tentatively took baby steps with the brace.  At six weeks I pretty much shed the crutches but still use the brace.  Trust me you're not going anywhere far without it.  Now as I approach seven weeks I am taking the brace off more and more and taking very tentative steps without it.  I next see the surgeon in a week (8 weeks post op).  I'm hoping I can lose the brace then but am not so sure I'll b e ready then.  I might be in for another two weeks.  We'll see.

 

BTW, as a word of warning if you do too much too soon and screw up the repair by re-injuring yourself you are totally screwed so be careful.  Redo surgeries don't work out so well because of the scar tissue. 

 

The healing process for quad tendon ruptures is a marathon, not a sprint.  From what I can gather is it takes a year to fully recover.

 

Anyway, good luck with your appointment.

 

Dan

post #3379 of 7336
Thanks will Run Again,

Your description of the recovery sounds very accurate to the other information I have been reviewing. My Doc was somewhat allusive in his description of the recovery on my initial visits. I think he did not want to overwhelm me at first. It's probably best to get this information in small doses as it is a tough pill to swallow.

I have had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders. Its a tough surgery and rehab but at least you had your mobility and one good hand.

I think your advise on not pushing the recovery process is very sage advise. I moved the leg a little to fast yesterday and in minutes the pain flared up again. There is no way I want to go through this again, so I will reframe from doing too much too soon.

It is a comfort to know that others have gone through this successfully and there is an end in sight.

Thanks again.
post #3380 of 7336
Well, I tore my left quad 9-12-10, had my surgery 9-16-10 and I'm back to normal. I can do all of the things I did pre-injury without issue. Now I'm on to my next adventure because I tore my left triceps last week in a really really minor motorcycle accident and I meet with my surgeon tomorrow morning to see when we are doing the surgery this week. I'm thinking it won't be as bad as the quad because of the limited mobility with the quad. No golf or cycling this summer. It looks like my weight training will only be legs for a while along with lots of cardio.

Glad to see so many progressing so well and know there is a new state of normal ahead.
post #3381 of 7336

Here's an update.  I'm 14 months out after my torn quad injury and 13 months after surgery.  I'm 99.9999% recovered.  I am now able to run 4 miles at full stride with no issues.  I am able to bike to/from work 14.7 miles each way with no issues.  I can get out of my saddle and power up hills and be out of the saddle for 1/4 mile, 1/3 mile--again no issues.  I have no problems at all running or jogging on weird terrain.  I can jump up and down on the previously injured leg--no issues.  I am able to descend steps almost normally, meaning I still have to "think" about the steps I'm taking, but that's more psychological than physical.  (That's the reason I didn't put down 100.00% recovered.)  Full recovery is totally achievable and not just a pipedream.  I am as good as I was before--better even, because of my dramatic weight loss that left me way fitter and way more maneuverable than before.  Folks should know that recovery just takes persistence, time, and, OK, "do your exercises!"  Bye and good luck.  For cyclists in the DC-Alexandria-NOVA area:  see you on the road!  yahoo.gifErnie

post #3382 of 7336

It's been a while since I last updated my progress. Six months post op was on March 16th and I golfed that day and have twice a week since then. Can run but slowly and have my first baseball game in 2 weeks. If I recall back in December I was stuck at 90 derees ROM and thought this ordeal was never going to end. Lots of physio and hot yoga have helped me get to where I am at today. I still experience pain at times and stiffness everyday as I push through with my rehab. Just have faith that with lots of hard work you will heal and be back to a normal life. I am thinking that I will be pain free for the most part by June/ July of this year.

post #3383 of 7336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Run Again View Post

Old Runner Guy, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful postings on this thread.

 

I believe the reason surgeons and therapists don't get their rehab time lines right for runners is simply because most don't run themselves.  That's why this board is so helpful because those of us with the same injury, similar backgrounds, and strong desires to get back on the roads, run and work out again can help each other. 

 

You are 22 weeks into your recovery and I am at 5 weeks.  It's very helpful and humbling  to know what's ahead of me.  Not being able to do much exercise is driving me crazy but I realize if I screw up the repair that redo surgeries don't work out.  That's why patience is so critical for all of us with quad tendon tears.  I understand we can expect full recovery in closer to a year than six months provided we don't re injure ourselves.  If you do tear the tendon again I am told you are more or less totally screwed so we have no choice but to follow a thoughtful and controlled recovery path.

 

ORG, I am interested  in when you or any other quadritear victims reached certain milestones:

  • When were you out of the leg brace?  Is 8 weeks reasonable or is 10 weeks more common?

6 weeks post-surgery for me

  • How long did it take to regain your full range of motion.  Yesterday I was only at 50% on my own and 68% with assistance.  Next session is this Friday (3/30/12).

I was within 5 degrees ROM at four months post surgery. The doc told me I might only get within 10 degrees, so I'm counting 5 degrees as full recovery, although I haven't quit trying for 100% recovery.

  • At what point were you able to use the elliptical trainer and stationary bike?  And do so with reasonable resistance?

When I got to around 70 degrees ROM I was able to start using the elliptical and the bike, although I started with light resistance. I am now pretty much back to where I was before my QTR in terms of resistance and getting close on endurance on those two pieces of equipment.

  • When were you comfortable walking and your natural walking gait return?

I haven't gotten completely comfortable yet. I don't have much of a limp. I started trying to place my QTR leg with a little bend in it and push off within the last couple days. Prior to that I would place the leg straight-legged and then bend it on the stride. Putting the foot down with the leg slightly bent was something I have been afraid of doing. It's still a bit scary.

  • When were you able to walk up and down steps?

I've been doing that for a couple months now.

  • How long did your insurance plan cover physical rehab and therapy?

I was covered for 12 sessions and then a one-month and three-month follow-up. I have continued working out with a trainer on my own though. That is something I was doing twice a week before my injury.

 

Best of luck with your recoveries to all!!!



 

post #3384 of 7336

Virginia, Frank and Tom,

 

Thanks for your progress reports.  It's nice to see there is a way through this nightmare.

 

I will be seven weeks post op tomorrow.  See the surgeon next Monday at 8 weeks.  I hope he says I can shed the brace then but don't know.

 

Am diligently doing rehab exercises and feel I am making progress although swelling is a problem after rehab.  Can do 90 degrees ROM routinely now but not much more.  On a stationary bike I am not even close to a full revolution.  I would estimate I get the leg to around 11 o'clock vertically and maybe 4 o'clock down.  For some reason peddling backwards is much easier.  Have walked in the house without the brace and the first steps were pretty scary.  A twist, slip, trip or fall would be disastrous.  This is quite a journey.  Getting back to my old self running competitively in age group road races seems like a pipe dream.  I truly miss running and will value every run in the future when I'm back on the roads again.

 

Curious if others have experienced this issue.  I have had pretty intense flashbacks of the fall and trauma that jerk me out of my sleep.  I am a stoic and stable guy but the flashbacks have been disquieting.  This injury has been such a nightmare it's hard to take.

 

Anyway, happy healing to all!!!  :-)

post #3385 of 7336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Run Again View Post

Virginia, Frank and Tom,

 

Thanks for your progress reports.  It's nice to see there is a way through this nightmare.

 

I will be seven weeks post op tomorrow.  See the surgeon next Monday at 8 weeks.  I hope he says I can shed the brace then but don't know.

 

Am diligently doing rehab exercises and feel I am making progress although swelling is a problem after rehab.  Can do 90 degrees ROM routinely now but not much more.  On a stationary bike I am not even close to a full revolution.  I would estimate I get the leg to around 11 o'clock vertically and maybe 4 o'clock down.  For some reason peddling backwards is much easier.  Have walked in the house without the brace and the first steps were pretty scary.  A twist, slip, trip or fall would be disastrous.  This is quite a journey.  Getting back to my old self running competitively in age group road races seems like a pipe dream.  I truly miss running and will value every run in the future when I'm back on the roads again.

 

Curious if others have experienced this issue.  I have had pretty intense flashbacks of the fall and trauma that jerk me out of my sleep.  I am a stoic and stable guy but the flashbacks have been disquieting.  This injury has been such a nightmare it's hard to take.

 

Anyway, happy healing to all!!!  :-)

 

I'm sure you'll run again, as long as you keep doing the work and being careful. Once you get your ROM up over 100 degrees or so things start getting better quickly. Mine is now around 130 degrees. As far as the stationary bike, all of the sudden you'll go over the top. That's the way it happened for me. I went in for PT thinking there was no way I would get over the top that day, and all of the sudden I went over the top. Prior to that I had been just rocking forward and backward.

 

I didn't have nightmares, but I did replay the moment of the injury in my head over and over. That kept me up at night for sure. When people ask me about the pain I tell them that the thing I remember the most is the fear, not the pain. When I replay the moment of the injury I get myself to a dark place real quickly. I finally had to force myself to let it go and quit beating myself up with "if-only" thoughts.


 

post #3386 of 7336

Dear Will Run Again:  I know that for athletes the whole "PATIENCE THING" is anathema, but you just need to know you will get better.  What helped me was a great surgeon who was aggressive in putting me back into PT--actually 10 days after surgery.  Now my friends' reaction was one of "OMG TOO QUICK," but the truth was that the aggressive treatment helped--specifically because I too am impatient and, darn it all, I just wanted to get back on my bike.  Anyway, I was released almost immediately to 45 degrees range of motion and was not immobilized.  On my own, I pushed pushed PUSHED at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. to get to 90 degrees, which is the magic point at which I would be allowed to get on the stationary bike...even for 4 minutes at level 1...OH TO BIKE AGAIN!!!!!  I have records for all of this, and I pushed my knee to 90 degrees, get this, in Mid April, less than 3 weeks after surgery.  By May 1, that's 2 1/2 months after surgery, I had regained full ROM.  The PT people freaked out, but they worked for my surgeon who told them, I wouldn't hurt the knee again, and told them that if it was OK with me, I could begin doing leg extensions with some very modest weight--5 pounds only.  Anyway, by May I was walking slowly with no leg brace.  By June I was released from PT.  On July 4th, I got back on my touring bike and did a very slow, very tentative 6 mile ride.  On July 14th, I biked to work and home again--28 miles.  But for someone like me, who is the consummate type A, I religiously followed my routine, I pushed myself when I was allowed to, and I owe my surgeon my life.  I was 57 and he never, NOT ONCE, cited my age or the severity of the injury.  His attitude as translated to the PT people was that if Ernie is able to do it and withstand the pain, then allow it to happen.  One huge key was he didn't totally immobilize the leg so that the muscles didn't atrophy as they would have with a more conventional surgeon.  I think what helped was that here in the DC area we are blessed with great hospitals and great doctors who are state of the art.  The man who put my knee back together in his office has a tennis racket signed by Manuel Orantes who in the early 1970s was the number 3 ranked tennis player in the world.  After surgery by my doc, he won Forest Hills (the US Tennis Open).  But be strong, follow your regimen, push-push-push where they allow you to, and trust you will run again.  You may even be better than before.  Right now, it seems like an eternity.  You may not run this year, but by months 9 - 12, you will.  Best of luck to you.   

post #3387 of 7336

I'm now at 5 months and 6 days into recovery. Been awhile since I've posted but have read the 'quadrippers' stories with both pain, sorrow and a certain amount of amusement when the PT works for the first time or our OS says something really great!  When I was at my darkest, the thought of actually walking without crutches OR the brace was like it would never happen again. I have to give the greatest PROPS to my husband for the time, love and patience he showered on me while my mind was trying so hard not to be negative and down & out for the count!  Truly could not have accomplished 1/2 of what has been, had it not been for him and his incredible support. BTW, I'm a middle-aged woman who simply stepped off a porch and my world fell apart!  Having been a REALTOR for 25  or more years, I've seen my share of steps, porches, balconies, decks and acres of yards with rolling slopes!  But there I was, by myself at an Estate Sale---stepped out the front door of the home, heard an awful popping sound, and was down for the count!  2 men carried me to my car (embarrassing to say the least!), but since it was my left leg, I could still drive. Took 2 1/2 weeks to diagnose the injury, at which point, my OS was like "sit in the chair and don't move until surgery!"

 

If I'm not trying to go up or down steps, it's hard to tell there is still an injury for the outsider looking at me. That and long pants keep it hidden from view, but believe me, I still know!  There is continuing pain in the knee and it still feels like a steel band is tightened across my entire knee/thigh area.... plus when I get tired from walking, my balance is considerably 'off'. It also feels like my leg weighs 100 pounds!  So, if I don't mind looking a bit tipsy when I'm not, the balance thing should get better with leg strength and less fear of re-injuring the quad.

 

My PT is going to start me on a strength program at a local gym so I know how to perform the excercises correctly...and hopefully the knee pain will begin to lessen. Also have a popping every time I bend--OS thinks it's a stitch, PT thinks it's not......I don't know what it is, but drives me crazy (as my hubby tells me, it's a short drive!).

 

I'd like to address something that is frequently said on this blog.  Patience is a huge key to survival after the accident.  Normal people (who we all were!), have no clue as to the extent of the pain, fear, and unknowns we deal with every day now. What didn't hurt yesterday, does today. What 'off-step' or 'wrong foot placement' could cause is a very real fear, every walking moment, and not knowing how long this will last causes anxiety...........it's truly life-changing.  BUT---it's not life-controlling and now that some time has passed, I've even been able to laugh about the moment!  I've asked a few people if they want the true story or the one I've made up as to how the accident happened.  Made-up is so much better!!! And the helicopter really adds excitement!

 

We do get better, time passes quickly once you're up and trying to walk normally--and as long as we keep smiling, we can keep the anxiety at bay.  Flashbacks can become comical, life can be fun again.  I know, becaue I'm living it every day!  Just like all of you --  So, here's to you my fellow quadrippers---I'll know who you are when I see you...I can 'smell' that limp from 500 yards now!

 

Cathy

 

post #3388 of 7336

What I want to address in this post is plain old walking. I suspect we QTRers will never take walking easily for granted again. I have been working on trying to get back to a normal gait. I am just over 4-1/2 months post surgery. What I started working on recently is placing my injured leg (right) down with a slight bend in it rather than straight, as I have been doing up until now. The idea is to place the leg and get a little push-off from it, just like I do with the left leg. This has been one of the scariest things for me to think about doing. I went out for a couple 2-mile walks this past weekend. I sure paid for it though. My leg was super tired the following days. I have been icing the leg daily, which helps tremendously. When I put my leg down more or less straight I can walk fairly briskly. When I put it down in a slightly bent position, I walk a lot slower. In either case, I don't have much of a noticeable limp anymore to the untrained eye. But as Cathy mentions, you folks could probably tell from a mile away that I'm a QTRer.

 

I'm curious how walking is going for all of you.

post #3389 of 7336

It's nice to see all the new posts.  I learn from every person who shares his/her experiences.

 

I am struck by how those who shared the cause of their injuries hurt themselves doing normal, everyday activities.  And most seem to be super active individuals running, cycling, working out, etc., and end up hurting ourselves falling on ladders, tripping on porch steps, car accidents or whatever.  None hurt themselves skydiving!

 

I am now 7 1/2 weeks into this.  Over the last four PT sessions my range of motion went from 68 to 77, 90, and 98 degrees.  The first three ROM sessions REALLY hurt.  Now I do 90 degrees routinely but can't get a full revolution on the stationary bike.  Yesterday I was between 3 and 11 o'clock.  Getting over the top seems like Mt. Everest but hopefully I'll do it next session on Friday.

 

I see the surgeon again on Monday which will be 8 weeks post op.  I really want to shed the brace.  I have been tentatively walking around the house at home and find that when I wear a knee sleeve it provides just enough support to make me feel comfortable.  I think at this stage the leg brace is hurting more than helping me.  The brace causes swelling and obviously restricts motion and we all know motion heals but too much motion hurts.  We're all walking or limping on a tightrope.  Do too much too soon and you have a problem.  Don't do enough you also have a problem.

 

For those among us who are walking brace-free I am curious if you transitioned from the full length leg brace to some other form of support.  It just seems like a leap to go from not walking at all to strolling out of the doctors office.  What kind of transition did you walkers have?

 

Thanks to all for the encouragement.  It's nice to know how many of you were where I am today and have now moved on and are back to more or less normal activities.  I have hurt lots of things in my life but I have to say a complete quad tendon rupture takes the cake. 

 

All the best of healing to all of you!

 

 

Dan

post #3390 of 7336


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Run Again View Post

It's nice to see all the new posts.  I learn from every person who shares his/her experiences.

 

I am struck by how those who shared the cause of their injuries hurt themselves doing normal, everyday activities.  And most seem to be super active individuals running, cycling, working out, etc., and end up hurting ourselves falling on ladders, tripping on porch steps, car accidents or whatever.  None hurt themselves skydiving!

 

I am now 7 1/2 weeks into this.  Over the last four PT sessions my range of motion went from 68 to 77, 90, and 98 degrees.  The first three ROM sessions REALLY hurt.  Now I do 90 degrees routinely but can't get a full revolution on the stationary bike.  Yesterday I was between 3 and 11 o'clock.  Getting over the top seems like Mt. Everest but hopefully I'll do it next session on Friday.

 

I see the surgeon again on Monday which will be 8 weeks post op.  I really want to shed the brace.  I have been tentatively walking around the house at home and find that when I wear a knee sleeve it provides just enough support to make me feel comfortable.  I think at this stage the leg brace is hurting more than helping me.  The brace causes swelling and obviously restricts motion and we all know motion heals but too much motion hurts.  We're all walking or limping on a tightrope.  Do too much too soon and you have a problem.  Don't do enough you also have a problem.

 

For those among us who are walking brace-free I am curious if you transitioned from the full length leg brace to some other form of support.  It just seems like a leap to go from not walking at all to strolling out of the doctors office.  What kind of transition did you walkers have?

 

Thanks to all for the encouragement.  It's nice to know how many of you were where I am today and have now moved on and are back to more or less normal activities.  I have hurt lots of things in my life but I have to say a complete quad tendon rupture takes the cake. 

 

All the best of healing to all of you!

 

 

Dan

To answer your question about transitioning without the leg brace, I went a week with one crutch (at my PT's insistence, on the opposite side from my bad leg) and from there on out I went without crutches. There were a couple times when I wished I had had them with me though, that's for sure. I found that early on my leg would fatigue quite quickly. When that happened it got scary real fast. I worried about the leg giving out underneath me. I would stop and collect myself and then continue on for a bit. I probably should have used one crutch for a week or two longer than I did. Don't tell my wife I wrote that. ;-)

 

One thing I found that helped on the stationary bike was to make sure that the seat was not too low. I think I was at around 100 - 110 degrees when I finally got over the top on the bike. All the sudden it just happened. It was a great day when I did it.
 

 

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